TSG Travels: How My Perspective of Collabs Changed Overnight
After deboarding a flight from Atlanta, I walked into a lowkey art gallery on Fairfax right next door to Supreme in Los Angeles.
Immediately I'm greeted by Chris and the rest of the Vans crew. Then proceeded to stand in awe at the massive display of collabs on the walls. In this moment I felt like I came a really long way since running around SoHo in lower Manhattan hunting down limited edition Vans. One of my first contributions to TSG was in 2007 during the Vans x Simpsons collab.
TSG was an extension of a hobby for me back then. Really, just a couple of dudes copping kicks and taking photos of the cool stuff happening around us.
Instead of guessing how it feels to be personally invited by Vans to celebrate their 10 year anniversary of out-of-the-box collabs, let me tell you...
Vans booked me a room at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel that has a beautiful view of the city and the most comfortable bed I've laid on in a while. The moment you walk outside of the building you're on Hollywood blvd trying to find the stars of your favorite celebrities while almost running into people. Mad vibes.
I ate my In N Out way too fast for photos, my bad. Their food is no better than a 6/10 rating. It's just all hype because their food chain is limited. But when you're hungry af, that #1 combo with the cardboard tasting fries will do the job.
After food, I caught the Uber to Fairfax. When you first walk into the art gallery you see a sign Vans laid out with the definition of Syndicate.
It put things back into perspective for me. A collab isn't just between an artist and a sneaker brand. It's about all of us who enjoy what we like and celebrating it together. It's easy to lose that meaning when collaborations drop every day.
Open bar, nuff said.
"Hmm... tell me more about how you quit your job to be a full time creative director on Instagram."
Vans culture in LA is definitely lit. Everyone had their own style and definitely didn't see the same kicks worn twice.
Let me show you some of my favorite Vans Syndicate collabs they've done over 10 years.
Oh look it's that weird dude Tyler the Creator.
He actually was pretty chill. I didn't get the snobby LA celebrity vibe from him at all. He seemed pretty creeped out that people were sneaking photos of him.
I felt the same way when I was walking around, to be honest. SIKE!
Guys like Tet Nishiyama (WTAPS) and Shawn Stussy showed up to explain how they became a part of Vans Syndicate.
Long story short, relationships and cool dudes doing cool ish.
If you have no clue who these guys are, do ya googles, B! You can easily be sitting in one of their chairs in the next 10 years.
You ever brought a flask to a boring ass holiday shindig? Me either, but now I will.
Shouts to Vans for the party favors. This was my favorite item hands down.
That sums it up for my LA hangs this go around. Check you guys for the next edition of TSG Travels.